Jharette Vasser didn’t sleep the night before Amazon’s giant job fair.
He and his family drove from Flossmoor to the company’s Romeoville warehouse at 5 a.m. Wednesday for the chance to work for the online retail giant. After waiting two more hours, he was called in.
“It’s something new,” Vasser said. “You don’t hear people say ‘I work at Amazon’ too often. It’s kind of like a refreshing new job.”
Vasser wasn’t alone. Around 10 a.m., the line of people applying for jobs from the air-conditioned tent snaked around light posts four or five times.
Around the U.S., 11 other cities took part in the job fair. Along with applying for jobs, candidates also got to tour the facility to see the jobs they applied for.
The online retail giant plans to hire 50,000 people from across the country and around 2,500 people at the Romeoville location.
Though Amazon spokesman Zeshan Kazmi said it was too soon to say how many people came out, he said the day was going successfully.
“The day is going great so far,” Kazmi said. “We didn’t have a specific projection [of how many people], but we did expect a lot of great candidates, which we got.”
Still, there was a bit of chaos as police closed the parking lot after it filled up. When it was rumored that cars would be towed, applicants ran from their places in line to their cars parked at least a mile away.
Meanwhile, people waiting in line to get in were given water and free ice cream from an ice cream truck.
Despite sweltering in the heat, Domovlo McDonald, 23, said working for Amazon would be an improvement for him, a sentiment that many reiterated.
“When I woke up this morning [the job fair] was the first thing on my mind,” said McDonald, who works at a Family Dollar store in Sauk Village.
“Amazon could give me more higher and higher pay. I don’t know what my odds are [of getting a job], but it’s better to show up than not show up.”